Norfolk Animal Control

Welcome to the web page of Norfolk Animal Control!

The Norfolk Animal Control Department handles about 1,500 calls a year, including 300 or so calls for lost animals, primarily dogs and cats. Almost a fourth of these are never claimed, and these are either put up for adoption, placed at local shelter or rescue organizations, or, as resources permit, kept in cages while they wait for an adoptive family. If you know of someone who'd like a dog or cat, please check with the department to see if there are any animals awaiting a new home.

Contact us:

via e-mail directly at,
by phone at 508-528-3232

Notes from the Animal Control Officer

4/27/06 - There are more frequent reports of fisher sightings in town; here is a page with more information about them.

9/10/03 - This department has seen a monumentous increase in WNV activity in the past week and a half.

As of 9/10/03 the State Laboratory Institute has confirmed that there have been 3 positive birds carrying the West Nile Virus. The town of Norfolk will no longer be collecting birds for testing due to these results. Any residents who want to report a dead bird that they find may do so by calling 1-866-MASS-WNV. The procedure now is to report the dead bird as well as give the resident the appropriate ways to handle all birds for proper disposal.

If you own horses, the best protection is to use the WNV vaccination out by Fort Dodge. [West Nile Virus Fort Dodge page.]

And for those with any other inquiries on WNV, can contact the state web page or contact the WNV line at 866-MASS-WNV or Arbovirus Information Web Site.

Any residents who have the following items that they have no use for, but would like to donate them instead of throwing them away, the Animal Control Department is more than willing to accept donations (all must be clean and disinfected)

- Dog/cat crates
- Cages/Kennels
- Bedding (dog blankets, beds, etc)
- Bowls/Dishes
- Grooming equipment
Unfortunately we cannot accept perrishable food donations from residents unless it is within the expiration date on the can/bag.

A Good Reminder for Pets during the winter holidays:

  1. with the roads becoming more hazerdous with the (long anticipated) snow it is incredibly important that people remember the leash law. A car that could normally get out of the way of a stray dog, may not have that same degree of luck when the conditions are icy/slippery.

  2. Remember to check on your pets when they are outside. Some breeds cannot hold their body heat as well as others, and their core temperature can drop to dangerous levels.

  3. If your dog is outside for extended periods, make sure he/she has an ample supply of UNFROZEN water. There are special buckets that can be plugged in to regular wall sockets that heat the water to prevent it from freezing. Snow is NOT an acceptable form of water for any animal to survive on. Actually snow eating can, again, put the animal in more danger from dehydration because of the amount of energy expended to eat, disolve, swallow, and then the body to warm up the mouth/throat again is more than the benefits of the snow in the first place. Along with being outside, a draft free dog house or another suitable place for retreating from incliment weather. And remember, if you're dog is barking extensively... He most likely wants you to bring him in to meet one of his needs.

  4. Poisonous/Toxic plants. All pet owners should be aware of the following (this also applies to humans as well). Holly (and its berries), Mistletoe (and its berries), and the Easter Lilly are all toxic. The Easter Lilly can cause liver failure in cats. The Poinsetta is considered toxic, but not deadly. Just the same, keeping the decorations/plants away from your four legged friends.

  5. and this one I learned on my own. If you have cats make sure your christmas tree is securely in the tree stand and balanced!!

Fisher in Norfolk, 3/17/2006
I am getting calls (and have seen for myself along Pond St. (Rte. 115)) fisher martens!  Yes, the fisher cat is entering our town. A picture of the fisher marten can be found in this encyclopedia article.

And remember!  This is the time of year when coyotes are breeding and are soon to be birthing!  The active season is just around the corner for the fox and skunk as well.  Seeing (usually nocturnal) wildlife during daylight hours DOES NOT mean that animal is rabid. The animal may be extremely hungry, thirsty, or in need of something so necessary that it needs to be out during the daytime.  This happens generally with excessively hot summer temperatures.  They should display signs of rabies other than just appearing during the day to be rabid.

To help deter wildlife from your yard:

  1. Do not put pet food outside.
  2. Keep trash picked up and sealed.
  3. Trash cans may need to be sprayed with ammonia solution to deter wildlife - works for domestic dogs too!
  4. Clean your outdoor grill of grease after use!  Dogs and coyote cannot resist the smell.
  5. Do not leave your animals outside unnattened in an unsecure environment:
    • Fenced in yard is ideal
    • Tie outs for dogs:  do not place them right on the woodsline.  Keep them closer to your house.
  6. And whatever you do . . . Do not encourage wildlife to your property by feeding it!   

In-ground pool owners:  When you open your pool this year, please make sure your fences are in good repair for the safety of wildlife as well as humans.  Last year we had over a dozen instances where  skunks (and other wildlife)   have fallen in and ruined the poolside day by spraying!

Local Wildlife Resources

Home page for our state agency for wildlife. Info on hunting, endangereds,
education, programs, angler news, etc.

Mammals List of Massachusetts
Mammals native to Massachusetts.  This does include the fisher marten,
coyote, fox, etc for our area!

Herp List of Massachusetts
Amphibian and reptile list for Mass!  Ever wondered why kind of snake was  
curled up outside your door?  Here's the list.

Massachusetts Wild Turkey
Talking turkey?  Walpole has had  a LARGE population of turkey.  What you
should know about wild turkeys because they are in our town as well!

Programs offered by  Massachusetts Department Of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Rabies - What You Need To Know  
Rabies and Pets (primarily cat site but  the same  disease process for all

Human Rabies Prevention - United States, 1999 Recommendations ...
All about humans and rabies contraction. The best advice -  don't  go near
wildlife!  If you are in contact (even  a direct facial spray by a rabid
skunk), you should seek the advice of your medical practitioner.

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